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Looking For Answers In Documents Recovered From Michael Cohen’s Shredder

The Department of Justice recently recovered and pieced together records found in a shredder belonging to President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, but the findings aren’t as juicy as people speculated.

BuzzFeed News obtained the documents, which are a combination of documents that prosecutors already had, handwritten notes about his taxi business, insurance papers and correspondence from a woman described in court filings as a “vexatious litigant” who claims she is under government surveillance.

Most of the shredded records are difficult to understand, BuzzFeed reported. One page doesn’t include full words and is a jumble of numbers, letters and bar codes. One document appears to be part of an envelope. There are fragments of handwritten notes. There is an invitation to a reception in Miami to meet with business representatives from Qatar. Several of the records seem to be insurance forms for an apartment.

The clearest page documents a $62,500 wire transfer from March into a First Republic Bank account controlled by Cohen, which has already been reported, according to a federal law enforcement source. This would fit with a series of payments from the Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy, who reportedly paid Cohen to negotiate a nondisclosure agreement with a former Playboy model regarding their alleged affair.

It’s unclear, BuzzFeed wrote, whether any of the reconstructed documents are of use to federal prosecutors in the investigation of Cohen, whose home, office and hotel room were raided by the FBI in April.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher




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